Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin presented the government’s new policies to Parliament on September 11th, dividing them into a two-phase plan to tackle Thailand’s economic and social challenges inherited from the previous administration.
In the short term, the government aims to alleviate debt issues for farmers, support pandemic-affected SMEs, and kickstart economic growth through 10,000 baht digital wallet handouts. Srettha said that the current economic situation is concerning, with a high concentration of GDP in a few sectors, declining exports, and elevated levels of household and public debt.
Furthermore, PM Srettha acknowledged deep political divisions, along with escalating issues of corruption, drugs, crime, and poverty. The government’s immediate priorities include constitutional reform for greater public participation, reestablishing trust in the rule of law, and addressing urgent social issues. For the medium to long term, the government plans to focus on expanding Free Trade Agreements, enhancing Thai passport privileges, advancing green and high-tech industries, investing in infrastructure, and boosting agricultural and fishery incomes.
Additionally, the government aims to improve land ownership access, initiate education reforms, promote research and lifelong learning, modernize the armed forces, combat drug abuse, ensure environmental quality, and enhance healthcare and welfare systems.
The opposition MPs, however, question the feasibility of many of the government’s policies, particularly the digital wallet initiative, citing concerns over the budget’s adequacy.
They also criticized the policies for being “directionless”, as most of them did not include clear timelines for their implementation.